CANBERRA, Australia — The Federal Parliament of Australia resumes on August 3 with about a third of all the members of parliament not coming to the capital city of Australia, Canberra, after weighing up advice on Covid-19.
The House of Representatives and Senate will sit for four out of the next five weeks, as the lockdown of Sydney and surrounding regions continues but other parts of the country lift restrictions.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will exit two weeks of quarantine at The Lodge early next week. At the same time, Labor leader Anthony Albanese has based himself in Canberra, allowing him to travel interstate.
It is expected about 100 members of parliament, and 45 to 50 senators, will be present while others will videolink in for Question Time and other business.
Parliament House itself is closed to the public. It will have limited staff and officials present, with anyone moving around the building encouraged to wear a mask, physically distance, and sanitize.
A senior Labor source said, “The tone of the parliamentary session would be different to June,” said a senior labor source.
“There was a deep-seated frustration with the government over the slow rate of vaccinations, no improvements in the quarantine system, and a downturn in the economy impacting workers and businesses.”
On July 29, the prime minister will deliver a statement on the Closing the Gap implementation plan — a strategy to improve Indigenous Australians’ health and social prospects.
The government will seek to question Labor’s new-found support for the third tranche of income tax cuts and the ditching of the opposition’s long-held policy on reforming negative gearing of property.
Climate remains a hot topic as the government has not yet committed to net zero emissions by 2050.
After August, there are only two more sitting weeks before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November, where nations will be asked to lift their ambition. The United Nations Climate Change Conferences are yearly conferences held in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change framework.
The conferences, which rotate annually among the five United Nations regional groups, serve as the formal meetings of the Conference of the Parties, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, and the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.
Next week, the Senate will deal with bills on university reform, financial advice, child care, education services for overseas students, and the national commissioner for defense and veteran suicide.
Over the coming week, inquiry reports into media diversity, foreign investment, sexual harassment, and discrimination in the workplace will be reported.
There have been 33,473 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 921 deaths in Australia, reported to the World Health Organization.
“As of July 23, 2021, a total of 11,140,511 vaccine doses have been administered,” said World Health Organization.
Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra
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